After losing three starting defenders a year ago, there may have been some questions about whether the Hokies’ back line would be up to the task. But new starters Zelenky, senior Taylor Antolino, and junior Danielle King have meshed well with returning starter sophomore Jordan Coburn.
“We had such great defenders last year and we all looked up to them so much and I think they gave us a great example of how we should look to play,” Zelenky said. “I think we have really come together and we’ve had to bond to be able to play as well as we are playing.”
And having senior Dayle Colpitts in the net doesn’t hurt. The career leader in shutouts at Virginia Tech, Colpitts has been consistent this year for the Hokies.
“She’s been solid all year. She’s made saves when she needed to,” Adair said. “Against Maryland she saved a penalty about 10 minutes after the second half started and we were very shaky at the start of both halves I would say. And she came out and saved that penalty and gained confidence for our team and we were able to start playing better and kind of rolled from there.”
The offense hasn’t been explosive, but it has been consistent all season long, as the Hokies have scored in every match this season. Senior Jazmine Reeves leads the team in scoring with seven goals and is tied with freshman Murielle Tiernan for the team lead with four assists.
And according to Adair, that's no accident.
“Jazzy really committed to her training and to her fitness over the summer and it’s showing,” Adair said. “She’s been terrific.”
Duke comes into the match with a decent record, but has struggled against ACC competition. The Hokies will be the fourth ranked conference opponent in five matches that the Blue Devils have faced.
Sophomore Cassie Pecht, ACC Rookie of the Year last season, and senior Natasha Anasi lead a talented Blue Devils team that hasn’t had success recently, but certainly can’t be overlooked. They have played a tough schedule and were ranked in the national poll until this week.
The Hokies and the Blue Devils are set to square off at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon in Durham.